On April 30, the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States released the results of their 50-state survey, with responses broken down by state. The results from Louisiana show that residents are more supportive of restrictive actions taken by state government than the national average, likely due to the high number of per capita cases and deaths attributed to the pandemic. Some other key takeaways:
- Only 4% of Louisiana respondents had to take a pay cut or reduced hours due to the pandemic, compared to 19% nationally.
- Both nationally and in Louisiana, 20% of respondents were laid off or lost a job.
- Two thirds of Louisiana and U.S. residents are “somewhat” or “very concerned” about contracting the virus; 79% are worried about a family member contracting it.
- 64% of state residents are concerned about financial hardships associated with the pandemic.
- Among Louisiana respondents that use childcare, half are concerned about the issue.
- Half the in-state respondents are not concerned about staying connected with friends and family during the Stay at Home order, potentially a sign of technology adoption for digital interactions.
- 56% of residents say that their life has been disrupted “a lot” or “a great deal,” while only 17% say their life has been affected “a little” or “not at all.”
- 30% of Louisiana residents stated that they have started working from home, compared to 35% nationally. This is likely related to the high number of “essential” jobs and businesses in the state.
In addition to this statewide poll, BRAC has been surveying its investors across the nine-parish Capital Region. Some notable data from that survey include:
- 49% of businesses have seen sales/revenue down significantly or at major risk.
- More than 40% of respondents stated that they could only sustain operations for three months or less under Stay at Home conditions.
- 30% have had to eliminate roles within their organization, including 13% that have had to lay off more than a quarter of their staff
- COVID-19 has had a huge economic development impact – 32% had expansion plans cancelled or put on hold due to the pandemic.
The poll and survey data illustrate that both individuals and businesses have experienced major disruptions that present issues looking forward. One in three businesses has let people go, while one in five residents have lost a job. As the state and region enter Phase One of reopening, governmental officials and community leaders must make tough choices as to how to restart the economy – who has experienced the greatest negative impact, who is most at risk, and how can they be helped? Using data as a guidepost – the type found in these surveys, or in BRAC’s weekly economic indicator dashboard, available at brac.org/recovery – is a strong way to ensure the recovery efforts align with the needs of the community.
As Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence, Andrew focuses on research and analysis for BRAC’s business development and economic competitiveness teams, providing economic, demographic, and fiscal research to support business expansion and relocation efforts in the Baton Rouge Area and analysis of education, workforce, tax, and other economic and public policy issues.